University of North Florida President John Delaney Selected as 2013 JAXUSA Chair

John Delaney

The JAX Chamber Nominating Committee selected John Delaney as the 2013 Chair of JAXUSA Partnership, a division of the Chamber. The Chamber Board of Directors approved the selection this week. 

Delaney is president of the University of North Florida (UNF) and served as Jacksonville mayor from 1995-2003. He previously served on the Chamber’s board of directors and as the 2012 JAXBIZ Chair.

“I look forward to working with 2013 JAX Chamber Chair Greg Smith to attract new companies and grow existing businesses in the JAX Region,” Delaney said.

Delaney became UNF’s fifth president in 2003 and oversees a campus of more than 16,000 students, 600 faculty and more than 1,000 staff.  The Northeast Florida campus is an economic driver in the region with an annual impact of nearly $1 billion.  Each year more than 4,000 students graduate from UNF’s five colleges.

Under Delaney’s leadership, the university launched an initiative to strengthen its top academic programs in nursing, transportation and logistics, international business, coastal biology, nutrition and dietetics and music.  During his tenure, the university campus has undergone significant expansion with numerous construction projects.  Delaney is UNF’s chief fundraiser and has nearly doubled the University’s privately-funded endowment campaign.

“John is a highly respected and very effective leader who has a unique combination of strategic focus, leadership skills, management experience, and a keen understanding of the challenges and opportunities in the business community,” Smith said.  “He has been extremely successful in working collaboratively to bring positive growth and change to our community.  I look forward to working with him in his new role.”

During his mayoral term, Delaney launched the Better Jacksonville Plan, a package of municipal improvement projects.  He also launched the Preservation Project, a series of land grants for parks.  Earlier in his career, he served as chief assistant state attorney, Jacksonville general counsel and mayor’s office chief of staff for Ed Austin.

Under his leadership as JAXBIZ Chair, all of the JAXBIZ endorsed candidates were elected in the November general election.  As JAXUSA Chair, Delaney will lead numerous economic development efforts, including workforce development programs consistent with recommendations from the Innovate Northeast Florida Target Industry Implementation Plan. 

Completed in April 2012, the Innovate Northeast Florida plan is a five-year community economic development strategic plan to grow industries in the areas of advanced transportation, financial services and health and life sciences.

“John is an outstanding, visionary leader with a total commitment to our community,” said Jerry Mallot, the Chamber interim president and CEO and JAXUSA president.  “We look forward to his leadership in accelerating job growth and economic development to create an even more prosperous community.”

About JAX Chamber
The JAX Chamber is the business membership organization dedicated to driving quality economic growth in Northeast Florida to make this region the best place to work, live and play. Membership provides the opportunity to connect with and buy from other Chamber members. The connections result in business growth and a more prosperous economy.

About JAXUSA Partnership
JAXUSA Partnership is the regional economic development organization comprised of almost 200 top private sector investors in Northeast Florida, including the JEDC, JEA, JAXPORT, JAA, JTA, WorkSource and the regional county partners – Baker, Clay, Duval, Flagler, Nassau, Putnam and St. Johns counties. A division of the JAX Chamber, its purpose is to facilitate the creation and retention of quality jobs and significant capital investment, resulting in a higher standard of living and better quality of life in Northeast Florida.

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